AMBY grain grower Gavin Burey has become the latest farmer to take on-farm storage to the next level and purchase a vacant former GrainCorp depot, 14km from his property.
Mr Burey, who owns the 4000 hectare property Maree Downs, purchased the Muckadilla site in July this year. The site features two 2500 tonne silos and a 5000 tonne storage shed and has upgraded the certified weighbridge and office for use this harvest.
It’s the first time in about four or five years the site will be operational and Mr Burey plans to purchase grain from local growers rather than warehousing it.
As a grower with 1214 hectares of wheat and 728 hectares of chickpeas in the ground, Mr Burey said he knew just how tough this winter had been battling frost and dry weather across the state.
He said they had all the appropriate equipment to accept all types of grain especially if there were more screenings occurring.
“I want to offer a whole new service,” he said.
“High moisture grain, where they are being rejected by GrainCorp – we can take the high moisture stuff back to Maree Downs where we have got a drying system back there.
“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve this year to see which way we go and to see the quality, if there are going to be any quality issues like screenings.
“If there is we should be able to accommodate it which is a bonus for people because they are probably going to go to the local GrainCorp site and if it is out of specs then they are buggered.”
Mr Burey started planting his wheat from the second week in May and then started his chickpeas during the last week in May with the wheat to be harvested in early October.
About 600 hectares wasn’t planted this year but of the wheat in the ground Mr Burey hopes it will yield about 1.3-1.4 tonnes per hectare.
He expects his chickpeas to yield about 0.8-0.9 tonnes per hectare.
“There was marginal moisture at planting time,” he said.
“There is a big variation from eight inches (20cm) to three foot (91cm) within about 50 metres.
“The last two winters were extremely wet (so) it was a real bonus for us even getting a crop this year.”
After a bumper crop last year, Mr Burey ran short of storage options and had 4500 tonne of grain in sausage bags.
He said they had looked to increase their on farm storage at Maree Downs but couldn’t look past the Muckadilla grain site which was in “excellent condition”.
“It’s complimenting your existing operation,” he said.